THE LIB­ER­A­TION OF LE QUESNOY

Hamilton News - - FRONT PAGE -

This year is the 100th an­niver­sary of Armistice Day, when The Great War ended on Novem­ber 11, 1918.

The New Zealand Her­ald is pay­ing trib­ute to those lost and the mo­men­tous events that led to the end of the war with a NZ On Air-funded doc­u­men­tary se­ries, The Lib­er­a­tion of Le Quesnoy.

In the Waikato town of Cam­bridge, sis­ter town of Le Quesnoy, in France, St An­drew’s Angli­can Church has a stained-glass win­dow de­pict­ing New Zealand sol­diers scal­ing the town’s walls.

The doc­u­men­tary se­ries tells the story of the New Zealand-led lib­er­a­tion of Le Quesnoy a cen­tury ago, and a mere week be­fore the end of the World War I.

Un­like many other lib­er­ated ar­eas, there was no loss of life to the French civil­ian pop­u­la­tion, some­thing that the town has never for­got­ten.

Along­side his­to­ri­ans, au­di­ences will hear au­dio ex­cerpts from the let­ters and di­aries of those who lib­er­ated Le Quesnoy, read by their rel­a­tives or as­so­ciates.

NZME plan­ning edi­tor An­drew Laxon said that the doc­u­men­tary se­ries re­ally brings home the size of the role New Zealand played on the West­ern Front.

“The lib­er­a­tion of Le Quesnoy hap­pened only a few days be­fore the end of the war, so it isn’t as well-known to New Zealan­ders as more fa­mous cam­paigns such as Gal­lipoli or Pass­chen­daele.

“This doc­u­men­tary shows just how vi­tal the Ki­wis were and looks at some key men who were in­stru­men­tal in free­ing the city.”

The six-part se­ries was be­ing re­leased daily on nzher­ald.co.nz/wwi from from Mon­day, and will then be rere­leased in full on the 100th an­niver­sary of the Bat­tle of Le Quesnoy on Novem­ber 4.

■ The doc­u­men­tary se­ries was cre­ated by Jude Dob­son of Homegrown TV with fund­ing from NZ On Air.

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